Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Big Snow


Last night, we got about 11 inches of snow. In Roscommon, this would be just another day. In Indianapolis, it means CHAOS. All schools are closed, people stayed home from work, etc. However, all of the idiots are out on the roads. I include myself in this, as I just tried to go to work at about 12:30, thinking that since the snow stopped about 4 hours ago, certainly there's been time to plow. Um, no. I tried 4 different routes to work, then gave up and came home. Nearly got stuck in a snowbank, going south on the wrong side of the road on my street, as the south side of the street hadn't even been touched yet. Ridiculous. 

And it's quite likely that I will run out of gas tomorrow, as my light has been blinking since last night and I definitely used a lot today as I gunned it to get out of the snowbank. Sigh. 

Friday, January 23, 2009


Tiling the Shower, or "Will Somebody PLEASE Tell My Contractor That It's 2009 and Kenny G Is Not Appropriate Music to Blast at a Client's House"

Ahh, adventures in home improvement. It's like a movie--an interminably long, boring-as-hell movie, set to instrumental versions of "Turn Me On" and "Hello" by Lionel Richie. I am ready for this day to be done. 

So, the story starts yesterday, when we had to go buy tile for the guest shower. We went to Lowes first, despite my proclamations after every time I go there that I will never EVER go there again. I just didn't want to drive all the way up to the north side. Anyway, this trip was nothing new. We were looking for several things: 
1) white 3x6 subway tile
2) white mosaic tile for the shower floor
3) accent piece for the shower walls
4) soap dish for the wall

What did we find? 
1) they were out of subway tile. OUT! I assume that white subway tile is pretty much any tile section's bread and butter. 
2) there was a box of white mosaic tile, but only 6 pieces. We needed 9. Could they find three more pieces? Of course not. 
3) I was too frustrated to even look for the accent pieces
4) no soapdishes

So, we drive all the way up to the north side, which is where I didn't want to go in the first place, and stopped at a real tile store. They have everything we want. Sweet. 

We go to check out, and our salesman, after a while, tells us "Well, your original total was $1,100." I have a minor heart attack, because remember, we're going for SIMPLE with this shower, and it's just white tiles. Salesman says, "But the discounted price is $875." And I say, "Umm, no. That's not in the budget." And then proceed to discuss with Eric how we'll just get the floor tile and accent pieces, and we'll get the wall tiles at the Depot. Our salesman then panics and tells us that it's so expensive because what we'd chosen (what he'd shown us) was porcelain tile, not ceramic, which is much cheaper. So I say, "Show us the ceramic." We got it, the price was cut in half, and fiscal irresponsibility averted. 

The contractor is upstairs right now, listening to his Kenny G, and laying the floor down in the shower. I hope he leaves soon, as I feel weird sitting under a blanket in the living room, reading a book/blogging/watching tv/cuddling with the pups/etc. while someone is working in my house. It's not like I'm going to go up there and help him, but I feel like I should be offering to fetch his tools or something. Ah well. 

I will post pictures as soon as he and Kenny go. 

Monday, January 19, 2009


I spent a nice long weekend up in Michigan, visiting the fam. Yes, we were just up there several weeks ago for Christmas, but since I'm within a relatively easy driving distance, and since my sister was there and I so rarely get to see her, I went. 

Hence, the no posting. Last week at work was also insane, but I finished up a project that I've been working on for the last four months, so that felt good. 

Work on our shower started Sunday, and they got a ton done. The shower is entirely sealed up and they're putting in the drain and basin tomorrow! Tiling starts on Thursday! Which means, we could have a working shower by next week. Swoon. This is almost as good as Edward Cullen. 

Saturday, January 10, 2009

"Guest Bathroom, Finale." Or "Haley Finally Gets to Do Something After Work Besides Painting Beadboard."

Yowzers, am I psyched about this! Our new and improved bathroom!

Eric did such a great job with the trim in there--I'm so proud of him. We had a contractor come in the other day to give us a quote for the shower and he couldn't believe that we'd done this ourselves. So, next time you see Big Sweetie, give him a pat on the back for a job well done. And I get a pat too, for spending so much freaking time painting this crap. 

Dad, is that a good enough picture of the window to let you judge the appropriateness of an interior or exterior mount for blinds? The trim is 5.5 inches, and there's about a half inch for each of those steps going toward the window. 

The guy we brought over the other day to look at the shower gave us a great quote, so we're going to start next Thursday! You know what that means... A shower on the 2nd floor!!!!! Serious--the quote he gave us to build the pans AND tile for both showers was just $300 more than the other contractor quoted for just the pans. I'm feeling good about this. 

In other news, Eric got a new car today. I have been dreading this day for a long time, not only because it means that we have another payment to make (it's been nice not having a second car payment for a couple months...), but because Eric is borderline OCD about this stuff and I knew that it would be an extremely long day at the dealership. He has also been doing extensive research online for the last 3 weeks or so. We headed out this morning, and got back around 3:00 this afternoon with a Chevy HHR. Eric loves it, and is dreaming of all the home improvement projects he'll be able to do, now that he has a big car to tote around wood and other stuff. The rule is, now that he has his car, he's not allowed to talk about cars anymore. He's happy, I'm happy... Good tmes. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Guest Bathroom, Part 3, Or, Painting Beadboard Sucks

We're making progress, slow but sure. Unfortunately, the progress has been marred by the fact that I will have to do at least 2 coats of bright white enamel on the trim. While it's very frustrating to have trim and walls that have been painted three dozen times, it's much easier to paint them. Ah well.


We've discovered more copper fixtures, which has inspired me to go hunting around the rest of the house for old crusty doorknobs that I thought were just old, but are, in fact, awesome.


Finally, I don't think I ever posted a picture of the results of my bachelorette weekend while Big Sweetie was in Boston: the chocolate brown bedroom. It's quite dark up there right now, but you get the jist. It's less purply than it looks. If you look really hard, you will see the tippy top of Yogi's head as he's sacked out on the bed. Smart dog. Pixie, on the other hand, is down here with me, chewing on the carcass of a stuffed animal. She gutted it yesterday and spread the fuzzy insides all over the carpet. 

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Guest Bathroom, Part 2

We're making progress. And a mess. I shudder to think at how much lead-based paint I ate today whilst scraping the roughly 27 layers off the guest bathroom window and door casings. Gross. 

I did, however, uncover this pretty awesome copper window lift, which was covered in paint to a point where you couldn't even see the raised design. I'm pleased as punch about this. I also discovered that our bathroom trim has been painted hot pink, yellow, the eggshell white you see here, and lime green, among others.     

Meanwhile, Pixie ate through the vacuum cord, so that's great. We're waging a losing battle with dog hair even when the vacuum works and we use it daily. I can't imagine what we're going to do until we a) fix the cord, or b) get a new vacuum. Again, gross. 

Eric is still upstairs trim-trim-trimming. Then he'll caulk and putty. And then I will be able to paint, which is what I've been waiting all weekend to do. While I've waited, I moved all the furniture in the foyer and living room, cleaned the floors, and rearranged everything. This makes me feel very good--like I have a new room or something. The living room looks great. The foyer would be great if all of Eric's crap wasn't laying in the middle of the floor--he took the bike rack off the top of his car this week and couldn't find a better spot for it. Funny. I can think of about 12 better spots for it. 

Anyway, you can see the paint color better in this picture. I like it a lot. The Sherwin-Williams Roycroft Arts and Crafts interior paint palette has really helped us out. I become paralyzed/stupid in the face of more than a dozen or so colors to choose from (hence the bright green half bath and insane yellow kitchen...). So this little tool has both assuaged my fears of being non-historically accurate and enabled me to make some bold color choices that I never would have otherwise (hence the mauve foyer, navy blue office, chocolate brown bedroom, orange dining room, etc.). 


Friday, January 2, 2009

Guest Bathroom, Part 1

We're finally getting around to starting (and maybe finishing???) a project we started talking about, ohhh, 4 months ago. We're putting the trim up in the guest bathroom. 

This room used to house a very large vanity and a bathtub and a tile floor with 12-inch tile. Now it has a small vanity, a shower stall (unfinished, but what else is new??),  and a tile floor with little tiles from hell. Because of all these changes, and because Eric has his little heart set on new trim, we bought new trim. We're also taking it a step further and putting beadboard wainscoting up, which we will paint white. 

Yesterday, in preparation for what I anticipated to be a good intentioned morning where materials would be purchased, but no actual work would get done, I painted the entire bathroom, despite the fact that half the walls will be covered by the beadboard. Well, paint me surprised, because they're actually working right now, and making progress. Unprecedented.

It's not that I don't have faith in my husband. I do. Lots of it, and he's been ridiculously patient with me too. But we have about 90 half finished projects hanging out around here, so forgive
 me if I was expecting this to be yet another of them. 

Here's Big Sweetie out on the front porch playing carpenter.

This is a horrible picture, but I don't feel like going back upstairs and taking another one. The walls are a nice blue-green color, and that is the new trim around the window. SWEET. 

Tomorrow, we find a new car for Eric. SIGHHH.